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Postgraduate Researcher Helle Hydeskov wins NTU's 3-Minute Thesis Competition

Helle Hydeskov, from the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences (ARES), was announced the winner of NTU’s 2021 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition.

3MT Competition
NTU'S 3MT competition takes place annually

12 Postgraduate Researchers from across NTU took on the challenge of presenting their thesis online during the live event in just three-minutes to a panel of judges, at the annual contest in June.

The 3MT competition was originally developed by the University of Queensland in Australia, as an initiative to celebrate the diverse research being conducted by their PhD students, in addition to engaging non-academic audiences.

NTU is one of many universities in the UK to take on the event each year to help research students develop confidence and communication skills.

Staff member in front of main hall
NTU's 3MT competition winner Helle Hydeskov

Researcher and Wildlife Veterinarian Helle Hydeskov was chosen as this year’s winner for her talk about her research into the effects lead (Pb) has on the health of brown bears in Scandinavia.

Helle’s research investigates how Pb used in hunting ammunition can poison mammals, and its overall effects on human, animal, and environmental health.

She told us: “We know that bears are highly exposed to Pb from the environment, but we don’t know how much harm it is causing them. It has been known for over 100 years that Pb can poison wildlife, but traditionally the focus has been on birds and not so much on mammals.”

One of the factors that encouraged Helle to participate in NTU’s 3MT competition was the challenge of conveying a complex issue in just three minutes to people outside her field of research.

"I’m most excited about being successful in getting my message across to the wider audience"

She said: “I was very happy to learn that I had won NTU’s 3MT competition, especially given all the other excellent presentations."

"I’m most excited about being successful in getting my message across to the wider audience as I feel very passionate about my research topic."

"I hope more people will start to question why some hunters continue to use Pb-based ammunition.”

This year, in addition to the judging panel, the audience were able to vote for their favourite presentation in the People’s Vote.

Ismail Boujnane, Postgraduate Researcher from Nottingham Business School (NBS), received the most votes from the audience for his research on the impact of working capital management practices on the profitability and sustainability of Casablanca fishing SMEs.

He said: “I have always been captivated by how 3MT makes research from all disciplines accessible to so many researchers."

"This year I was so privileged to take part in the annual competition at NTU. I have always been very passionate about my research but synthesising it in three minutes or less for a non-expert audience was a challenging task."

"It incited me to articulate my work in a creative manner and think outside the box by crafting a narrative of my research work that was comprehensible to a wider audience.”

“The award means a lot to me. It approved my ability in communicating my work and it really encouraged me to confidently pursue my PhD with positivism and assurance. I can truly say that participating in the 3MT will remain a major highlight of my PhD experience.”

Participating in the 3MT will remain a major highlight of my PhD experience

Karen Eckersley, PhD Researcher in the School of Arts and Humanities was also highly commended by the judges for her presentation about how women surrealist artists and writers anticipate post-human thinking.

She said: “I decided to enter the competition as I saw it as an opportunity to practise distilling and presenting my research in an accessible way to a wider audience. A very important skill.”

“I would recommend it to others for next year as it is an opportunity to both showcase your work and hear about other projects underway at NTU and feel part of the wider academic community.”

The winner of this year’s NTU 3MT competition, Helle Hydeskov, will submit her entry to Vitae for the regional semi-finals. Successful submissions are invited to present at the prestigious academic competition hosted by Vitae in July. Following the semi-finals, six winners chosen from across the UK will be invited to participate in the national final in September.

This year’s participants showcased the diversity of research that is undertaken across NTU. See below the full list of the inspiring Postgraduate Researchers that took part in NTU’s 2021 3MT competition.

  • Competition winner: Helle Hydeskov, School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences: Would you choose to poison yourself, wildlife and nature?
  • People’s vote winner: Ismail Boujnane, Nottingham Business School: Fisheries in Morocco – What’s the problem?
  • Highly commended: Karen Eckersley, School of Arts and Humanities: Entangled encounters: investigating human and non-human connections in women’s Surrealism


  • Ernest Acha, School of Social Sciences: History of British state policy and their repressive nature towards migrants
  • Suliman Almansour, School of Science and Technology: Inflammation response
  • Nichola Burton, School of Art and Design: Lacey women
  • Mixon Faluweki, School of Science and Technology: Life and motility of cyanobacteria in confinement
  • Jess Johnson, School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences: Equestrian sport: What happens next?
  • Maria Lujan, Lopez Dallara, Nottingham Business School: Business model archetypes by positive energy districts
  • Dalia Mehaisi, School of Science and Technology: A computational network to explore genetic interaction in cancer
  • Melody Nyahoda, Nottingham Business School: It is in the way the contract is managed: Oil and gas supply chain success
  • Trang Dang, School of Arts and Humanities: Dark Eco-Awareness

Visit the Vitae website to find out more about the 3MT competition.

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